Automated Fulfillment Network Requests (AFN)
Requests between institutions in a fulfillment network can be handled within a resource sharing framework. A borrowing request is created by the patron in Primo or the operator in Alma. Alma then creates a rota of all the institutions that have the requested item. The rota may include institutions which will handle the lending request as a fulfillment network request, i.e. a regular hold request, as well as institutions that will handle the lending request as a classic resource sharing request, i.e. a lending request. If the first institution on the rota rejects the request, Alma automatically moves through the list, forwarding the request to the next institution in line. If the chosen lender institution is part of the fulfillment network, the request at the lender side is included in the Pick from Shelf task list on the Pick Up Requested Resources page as a regular hold request that is linked to the requesting patron linked user account.
In a network with AFN partners, staff may create AFN requests in Alma by searching for the title in the network tab and placing a resource sharing request from there.
Using the resource sharing framework for fulfillment network requests offers the following benefits:
- The borrowing institution does not maintain the request. Although a patron may place the request on the borrowing institution's Primo system, the request passes through without human intervention.
- The lending institution manages these requests in a single queue on the Pick Up Requested Resources page.
- The pickup anywhere and return anywhere functions can still be used with this process. See Fulfillment Networks.
- The pickup location includes all libraries within an institution.
Fulfillment Network Partner Configuration
- Create the fulfillment network partner in resource sharing partners.
- Set the Profile Type to Fulfillment Network.
- On the Parameters tab, enter the Alma customer code and URL of the partner.
- Create a locate profile for the partner library with the Type set to Fulfillment Network. For more information, see Adding Locate Profiles.
- In the locate profile parameters, enter the partner's Alma URL and institution code.
- If selecting the Check item requestability check box on the profile parameters, then the locate process will check the requestability of the lenders' items. The Is Requestable policy is consulted instead of the Is Requestable for Physical Resource Sharing and Is Requestable for Digital Resource Sharing policies that are used in other resource sharing situations. Note that the requestability check is done without a given user group, so that Fulfillment Unit rules that make use of user group as an input parameter will not match during the locate process. If the lender side has defined a user group in the default_user_group_for_fulfillment_network_locate parameter, Alma uses that user group for the requestability checks. For more information, see Adding Fulfillment Policies.
When the partner configuration is completed, three fields will appear on the Primo resource sharing request form.
Primo Resource Sharing Request
The Preferred Pickup Institution and Preferred Pickup Location fields allow the patron to select any location within the fulfillment network for pickup of the requested item. If the requested item cannot be delivered to the preferred pickup location and the patron deselects the Allow Other Library check box, the item will be delivered to a library at the patron's home institution, as defined in the Preferred Local Pickup Location field. Leaving the Allow Other Library check box checked allows the item to be sent to another library within the preferred pickup institution. If the partner is unable to send the requested item to the local pickup location, Alma will check for the next partner in the rota, which could be a fulfillment network institution or a resource sharing partner, that is able to deliver the requested item to the pickup location.
The rota creation is determined based on the following criteria (in this order):
- The library defined by the patron as the preferred pickup location.
- Another library on the same campus as the preferred pickup location.
- Another library in the same institution as the preferred pickup location.
- Another fulfillment network partner that has a Deliver To relationship configured for the preferred pickup location
This way, partners that have a higher chance of being able to fulfill the request for pickup at the preferred institution are automatically pushed up the rota.
When a request is successfully processed, it appears in the borrowing task list of the patron's home institution. If the request was sent to a fulfillment network partner, the lending partner will see the request in the Pick from Shelf task list. If the user did not already have an account in the partner's system, a linked user account is also created. When the partner puts the requested item on the hold shelf, the status of the borrowing request is automatically set to Completed.
When the hold request is created on the lender's side, the Date Needed By field on the hold request is populated with the partner's requested expiration date. If No Expiry is selected, the date needed by remains empty. If Expire by Interest Date is selected, the Date Needed By field is populated with the due date of the borrowing request. If Expiry time is selected, the Date Needed By is the current date, plus the chosen number of days.
For more information on fulfillment network requests, see the Automated Fulfillment Network video (10:57 minutes).
Workflow Use Case 1
A patron from West University will request a resource managed at the Network Zone. The items are located at East University. The request for pick up is at East University.
The requesting patron, Demo 1, is a patron at West University, but not at East University.
Patron Not Registered at Pickup Institution
The patron logs into Primo from his home institution, West University. He uses the Primo search to find a resource that is owned by another member in the network. The search is conducted in a shared scope.
The Primo request form allows the following pickup location options:
Primo Resource Sharing Request with Preferred Pickup Information
The Preferred Pickup Institution can be any institution in the fulfillment network.
The Preferred Pickup Location can be any library from the selected institution.
Allow Other Library allows pickup at another library within East University if the Science Library cannot fulfill the request.
Preferred Local Pickup Location is a library at West University where the item will be sent if pickup from the preferred library is not possible.
After the patron creates the request, a corresponding resource sharing request is created for West University with a rota that includes East University.
Borrowing Request Rota
The rota includes another ISO partner to whom the request will be forwarded if the fulfillment network request fails.
Note that if the pickup location is not the home institution, Alma automatically manipulates the rota so partners that can fulfill requests at the preferred pickup location will be pushed up. For example:
If the preferred pickup location is the Science Library at East University, that partner record will be pushed to the top of the rota. This partner is most likely to fulfill the request at the preferred pick up location while requiring the least transit logistics.
If the pickup location is not the home institution, Alma automatically manipulates the rota. The order of preference is found above.
The linked account is created for patron Demo1 at East University, and a hold request is created.
Patron Registered at Pickup Institution
Hold Request at Pickup Institution
The item is picked off the shelf and put on the hold shelf at the Science Library.
Put Item on Hold Shelf
When the request is placed on the hold shelf by East University, it is considered complete at West University.
Borrowing Request at Originating Institution
The rest of the process is a standard fulfillment network loan. East University will loan the item to the West University patron.
Patron Identification for Visiting Patron
Patron Loan at Pickup Institution
When the item is returned, it is reshelved.
Item Reshelved at Pickup Institution
Workflow Use Case 2
A patron from West University requests a resource that is managed at the Network Zone and has items at East University for pickup at West University.
The patron logs into Primo at his home institution, West University, and uses the Primo search to find a resource that is owned by another member in the network. The search is conducted in a shared scope.
The requesting patron, Demo2, is a patron at West University but not at East University.
Patron Not Registered at Loaning Institution
The Primo resource sharing request form is used to request a pickup at a library of the home institution, West University.
Pickup at Originating Institution
A new resource sharing request is created at West Unversity. East University is included in the rota.
Borrowing Request Rota
The linked account has been created for patron Demo2 at East University, and a hold request is created.
Patron Registered at Lending Institution
Hold Request at Lending Institution
When the item is picked off the shelf and scanned in, it is put in transit to the pickup location at West University.
Scan In at Lending Institution - Item in Transit
When the request is received at West University, it is put on the hold shelf.
Scan in at Originating Institution
Item on Hold Shelf at Originating Institution
Once the requested item is on the hold shelf, the borrowing request is considered complete.
Borrowing Request History
The item is then loaned to the West University patron.
Loan Item to Patron at Originating Institution
The item is then returned by the patron.
Patron Returns Loan
Destination Confirmation Window
The item is then received back at the lending institution and is re-shelved.
Reshelve Item at Lending Institution
Workflow Use Case 3
A patron from West University requests a resources that it managed at the Network Zone and has items at East University.
East University rejects the request. The rota will continue to the next partner.
The request is placed as in the prior use cases as a hold request at East University.
The request is a resource sharing request at West University that has been sent to the East University fulfillment network partner.
Resource Sharing Request Rota
Borrowing Request History
The request is a hold request at East University. The staff at East University can cancel the request (for example, because the item is not on the shelf).
Cancel Hold Request
This will cause the rota on the borrower side to move on to the next partner in the rota, which may be another fulfillment network partner, or an ISO partner.
Borrowing Request Rota After Partner Canceled Request
The request is fulfilled by another partner on the rota.
Borrowing Request History